England Women captain Sarah Hunter offers to take pay cut

By Sara OrchardBBC Sport
Sarah Hunter
Sarah Hunter won the World Cup with England in 2014

England Women captain Sarah Hunter says she would be prepared to take a pay cut to "make sure we have something at the end" the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced pay cuts for staff earning over £30,000, though the England Women players fall below this threshold.

On Thursday, RFU boss Bill Sweeney said the organisation was braced for revenue losses of up to £50m.

"That little sacrifice and selflessness can go a long way," said Hunter, 34.

"I'd be willing to do that to make sure there's still an RFU and people aren't having to lose their jobs.

Hunter, one of 28 women awarded a central contract by the RFU for the 2019-20 season, says they all have to think about the long-term effects of the coronavirus crisis.

"I can only speak on behalf of myself, but I think you’ve seen the enormous generosity of the country and the community," Hunter told BBC Sport. "Everyone is coming together.

"It’s trying to support people in the best way we can. If that means we have to take a pay cut to help protect all our jobs I know I for one would be willing to do that."

Last month, the Women's Six Nations was disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak and awaits a conclusion, while the Tyrell's Premier 15s competition has also now been suspended.

Although Hunter sais it is frustrating to be sitting at home, she knows they have to think of the bigger picture.

"You think about those people who are trying to save lives, the NHS workers and the key workers who are allowing us to continue to get food and looking after the country," she added.

"Who finishes where is really insignificant compared to peoples lives at risk. We can play rugby at any time so it puts it into perspective."

And the forward said also said the unexpected break could have positive outcomes for her career.

"It’s not a bad thing putting a few miles back on the old clock," she said. "It might have added a few more games into my playing days that's for sure."

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